Greece: Energy Matters

» Cool Your Home For Less

Energy 1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Greek government announced yesterday a measure to subsidise households with the cost of replacing air-conditioning units. The Development Ministry said it would offer up to €500 or 30% of the retail price, for every old appliance returned. The aim of the programme is to save energy during the peak summer period, helping both the environment and the economy. The ministry considers that between 50,000 and 60,000 appliances will be replaced in the six-month period set to begin next week. It is estimated that there will be a reduction of 20,000 tonnes in gas emissions, and that some 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy will be saved by the measure, said Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis. The total cost of the nationwide programme amounts to €15 million. A special website, www.allazoklima.gr (in Greek), will be posted on June 5.  Kathimerini daily: Cooling your home just got cheaper

» Paint The Town… White!

white-house1Intrigued by the idea that people in the Aegean islands use the colour white to paint their houses, the world’s most influential scientists have come up with a practical solution to save the world from global warming. Using white in painting the urban landscape (roofs, pavements, etc.), sunlight is reflected, thus ensuring a drop in temperature, because, making a reflective building reduces the amount of solar heat it absorbs. Buildings remain cool and the use of air conditioning – which contributes to the deterioration of the environment – is averted or at least limited. The numbers speak for themselves. Urban infrastructure corresponds to 2.4% of the earth’s surface. It is further estimated that the white colour on the surface of 100 of the world’s largest cities could cut up to 44 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. Temperatures in cities could drop by 2 C. 

Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as Energy Secretary, backs the idea fully. “Now, you smile, but […] if you take all the buildings and make their roofs white […] it’s the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions due to all the cars on the road for 11 years,” he said.   Lawrence Berkley Nat. Lab: Heat island effect & “Cool World” Plan